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Best way to prepare pork tenderloin for soup

fldhkybnva Dec 15, 2013 07:11 AM

I defrosted a chicken breast to add to a simple vegetable soup. Or at least I thought I did, but it's a pork tenderloin. I usually just poach and shred the chicken, what's the best way to cook the tenderloin so it's not overcooked? Roast as usual and slice or would it be better to slice and then saute?

  1. mamachef Dec 15, 2013 07:13 AM

    I would braise that baby in a small amount of broth 'til it's falling-apart tender, and then shred it in. If you add some hominy, and a dash of lime, cumin and chile powder, you can call it posole. :)

    22 Replies
    1. re: mamachef
      hotoynoodle Dec 15, 2013 07:48 AM

      if it's tenderloin, it's very lean, so not a suitable meat for long-cooking.

      agree with coliver: keep it whole. grill if you can. otherwise, pan-sear or oven roast and add it to the soup at the very last minute.

      1. re: hotoynoodle
        mamachef Dec 15, 2013 08:20 AM

        Gotta disagree. Low enough and slow enough, it'll do just what a nice, lean chicken breast does if you poach or braise it and shred w/ the grain. I'd be concerned about adding the cooked meat to the soup only because I think it would become overly chewy in the cooking. Possibly making it ahead and refrigerating or freezing and then re-heating would alleviate that problem.

        1. re: mamachef
          hotoynoodle Dec 15, 2013 08:36 AM

          you're not cooking the meat any further. simply adding it, already hot, to the finished soup. just like bits of roast pork in wonton soup.

          "braising" lean meat is not in my wheel-house, sorry. :)

          1. re: hotoynoodle
            j
            jjjrfoodie Dec 15, 2013 09:33 AM

            I gotta agree with hoytoynoodle re: braising lean meat.

            If me, I;d either outdoor grill the tenderloin or brown on the stovetop and finish in the oven to 140F.

            Rest, cool, slice thin or into bitsize portions and add to warm soup to only reheat.

            I have used both pork tenderloin chunks as well as lean boneless pork chops in my "Sunday Gravy"/spaghetti sauce which cooks for hours on low . Sure they are shredable at the end, kinda, but due to the nature of the leanness and cut, they often come out dry and shred into very small pieces vs, say, smoking a pork butt to 200F and then pulling.

            It's the nature of the cut.

            As others mention, I'd cook to 140F and cut a'la a Chinese wonton soup and it will be fine and delicious.

            Good luck.

            1. re: jjjrfoodie
              c oliver Dec 15, 2013 10:20 AM

              I also agree with you on not shredding. Actually shredding meat is something I almost never do. I find eating 'pieces' easier than 'shreds.'

              1. re: jjjrfoodie
                fldhkybnva Dec 15, 2013 11:32 AM

                The texture of pork tenderloin is so different than chicken breast to me that I never pondered shredding. As you mentioned, it seems like it wouldn't work well.

              2. re: hotoynoodle
                c oliver Dec 15, 2013 10:18 AM

                Nor mine. And even if it were as good, why go to the extra time and effort when in 15 minutes you're good to go?

              3. re: mamachef
                C. Hamster Dec 15, 2013 12:26 PM

                Braising ruins chicken breasts. It just dries them out.

                The same will happen to a pricy pork tenderloin.

                1. re: C. Hamster
                  mamachef Dec 15, 2013 02:56 PM

                  Also not my experience, if it's done on the bone and done correctly. What I love about CH is there are a million different tastes and opinions, in which case everybody is right.

                  1. re: mamachef
                    c oliver Dec 15, 2013 03:01 PM

                    Care to elaborate on what your way is?

                    1. re: c oliver
                      mamachef Dec 15, 2013 03:43 PM

                      Sure. For instance smothered chicken: rolled in seasoned flour, sauteed w/ aromatics, and oven-braised low, slow and covered, in a small amount of liquid of choice. If you want exact proportions and times, I'll be glad to provide them, but I know I've provided braised chicken recipes before, and you've read them because I specifically remember you asking about a braised chicken w/ artichoke hearts, pancetta and peas done in much the same way. The methods really don't change, just the ingredients.

                      1. re: mamachef
                        hotoynoodle Dec 15, 2013 06:39 PM

                        i think we're using different definitions for "braising".

                        typically it's a fatty/tough cut of meat that is browned on all sides and then almost completely submerged in liquid, then cooked for many hours to break down the connective tissues, which then become collagen. further cooking turns the collagen to gelatin. a protein in a covered dish with a bit of liquid in the bottom is almost steam-cooked -- not braised.

                        1. re: hotoynoodle
                          c oliver Dec 15, 2013 06:43 PM

                          I'm thinking she may be referring to "stewing."

                          1. re: c oliver
                            hotoynoodle Dec 15, 2013 06:48 PM

                            even stew has a fair amount of liquid AND typically uses cheap fatty cuts.

                            1. re: c oliver
                              C. Hamster Dec 15, 2013 07:19 PM

                              Stewing is braising.

                              1. re: C. Hamster
                                c oliver Dec 15, 2013 07:24 PM

                                I still struggle with the whole concept of stewing/braising chicken. I can't think of a time I've done it. And OP is just looking for some way to add pork tenderloin to soup. So I'd still think the chicken is going to get dried out.

                                1. re: C. Hamster
                                  f
                                  fourunder Dec 15, 2013 07:33 PM

                                  Using the exact piece of meat, Beef Chuc/Roast

                                  you stew beef chunks.....you braise the larger piece of meat known as a pot roast

                                  Same would go for a picnic shoulder, as opposed to chunks

                                  You make a stew...you braise meat.

                                  It's all semantics in the end to fit your argument..

                            2. re: mamachef
                              C. Hamster Dec 15, 2013 07:17 PM

                              Sorry but cooking chicken breasts "low and slow" just drains them of their juices and dries them out. And if you go too long it just disintegrates them

                              It's simple physics.

                          2. re: mamachef
                            m
                            magiesmom Dec 15, 2013 05:28 PM

                            Pork tenderloin on the bone?

                            1. re: magiesmom
                              fldhkybnva Dec 15, 2013 05:54 PM

                              I think they were discussing chicken? That was my thought at first too

                              1. re: fldhkybnva
                                mamachef Dec 15, 2013 06:31 PM

                                LOL. Chicken, yes.

                      2. re: hotoynoodle
                        s
                        Springhaze2 Dec 15, 2013 08:29 AM

                        With a lean meat like pork tenderloin it is either fast cook it or cook it at a low temperature for a long time. If you search for pork and vegetable soup recipes, there are several that say to cube the pork, brown it with aromatics, add broth and other ingredients and cook in a slow cooker for several hours.

                        For soups, I like that "long everything cooked together" kind of flavor, rather than adding some grilled meat at the end. Need to give the ingredients time to harmonize.

                    2. c oliver Dec 15, 2013 07:22 AM

                      Do you have a grill? We usually do them that way, about four minutes a "side" or 15ish minutes total.

                      1 Reply
                      1. re: c oliver
                        fldhkybnva Dec 15, 2013 08:19 AM

                        I usually roast and it's great and super simple so I guess I'll stick to that and just dice it after and add it last few minutes to warm in the soup.

                      2. z
                        zackly Dec 15, 2013 08:29 AM

                        Simply, I would cut it into about 1 1/2 inch pieces across the grain and shed it raw, along the grain, into julienne shaped pieces and cook them right along with the vegetables in the soup pot. It will enhance the flavor of the soup too.Do this at the last minute because they'll cook very fast.

                        1. coll Dec 15, 2013 08:29 AM

                          Pressure cook.

                          1. d
                            darrentran87 Dec 15, 2013 09:36 AM

                            braising lean meats like pork tenderloin is a sin :O... I NEVER cook pork tenderloin past medium well. 140F it should be away from the heat and resting!

                            1. f
                              fourunder Dec 15, 2013 09:57 AM

                              As others have indicated, roast or grill....then slice and add to the soup.

                              If you are into Asian Style soups, this is how it is done most of the time....but there is also another option that is better for this cut of meat. You take the Tenderloin and slice it on the bias, then Julienne in consistent 1/4 thickness. You can season simply with Kosher Salt, and or White Pepper...or you can marinade with Soy Sauce, Rice Wine and Sesame Oil. The method is to place the amount you desire into each individual bowl, raw. You heat the soup up very hot and you ladle in the soup over the meat and add any other fixins/ingredients you like....e.g. scallions, cabbage, mustard greens, pea shoot tips, peanuts or cilantro. The heat from the hot broth literally cooks the meat in 30 seconds and it remains moist and tender, not toughened by cooking.

                              This is how Hot Pot, Pho, Ramen and Wonton Noodle soups are often prepared

                              1 Reply
                              1. re: fourunder
                                c oliver Dec 15, 2013 10:21 AM

                                Never thought about this for pork. Great idea. Love it with beef for pho. Gotta try this. As always, thanks, four.

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